Have you ever had one of those days when you need a good, long exercise session to work out your stresses or mull over a particularly troubling problem?
Prior to having my son, I would go to the gym at least three times per week. And some days I really needed that time to get out my frustrations about work or to brainstorm solutions to problems that were bothering me.
Since the birth of my son two years ago, I just haven’t made the time to get back to the gym. Don’t get me wrong, chasing a kid around all day is a workout in and of itself. We go on plenty of walks and other adventures that help me get almost as much exercise as before.
But there’s something about getting my exercise with my kid tagging along that just isn’t the same as having some alone time while I work out. Lately, I have decided to make it more of a priority to take some time to myself and exercise on my own.
A friend recently decided to try a different workout every day for 30 days. I love that idea—maybe not 30 different workouts, but at least the idea of the departure from a regular workout routine to break the monotony of the gym or a regular run or whatever you might do.
Living in Alexandria, we are fortunate to have a wide variety of exercise options at our disposal.
One of the great things about Alexandria is the abundance of running, walking and biking trails in our community. We have the Potomac River as one of the borders of the city and the Mount Vernon Trail that meanders along its edge, providing a nice view that might help make the work out more palatable.
Not only is exercising outdoors visually stimulating, it’s most likely free. Running or walking requires very little investment, and so does biking if you own your own bike. No bike? You can rent one for a reasonable price at various places in Alexandria.
Another inexpensive outdoor option that takes advantage of our proximity to the water is kayaking or canoeing—you can rent either one of them at for as little as $25 for two hours.
As I write this, I am sitting comfortably in my air conditioning, while, at 8 p.m., it is still above 90 degrees outside. That's not exactly the weather that inspires outdoor exercise.
Never fear—our fair city offers plenty of indoor exercise options, too. There are numerous gyms around town including , , and in Old Town. Jen Desautels Xsport Fitness near Fairlington for its great childcare amenity.
For a less expensive option, try the in Del Ray or check out one of the fitness rooms at a local recreation center (, , Nannie J. Lee and William Ramsay) for $4 per day or $100 annually for residents, among other pricing options.
For more variety, try alternative fitness options like yoga, pilates, boxing or even cross-fit.
In Del Ray, check out , and .
In Old Town, try , and , among others.
sounds like a fun substitute for the gym, and will probably work some muscles you didn’t know you had.
No matter what you do to exercise, remember that it’s not always just about the fitness. Sometimes the “me time” it provides is just as important.